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The Fascinating Secrets of Mayong, the Black Magic Capital of India

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Ravi is a traveler and foodie who loves to visit off-the-beaten-track places and understand the culture, history and customs behind them.

Mayong village in the Assam state is called the black magic and voodoo capital of India.

Mayong village in the Assam state is called the black magic and voodoo capital of India.

Mayong Village Is Eerie

Eerie, creepy tales abound in this place—people vanishing into thin air, men turning into beasts, dolls and skeletons dripping with blood, and even wild animals being magically tamed. While there is no clear evidence of any of this, the people of Mayong claim that they have seen strange things happen beyond the realm of logical human thinking.

The biggest mystery of all happened in 1337, when an entire army of 100,000 horsemen led by Muhammad Shah to capture the Ahom kingdom of Assam perished in the forests of Mayong. No trace was found of even a single person. It was as if the army never existed.

This mysterious episode is even mentioned in the Alamgir Nama—a documentation of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s first 10 years in India. The Mughals were frightened by the witchcraft prevalent in the area and kept away from it.

The Black Magic Capital of India

Mayong, a small village in the Morigaon district of Assam state, is rightly called the black magic capital of India; since time immemorial, it has had a fearsome reputation as a place to be avoided.

And while it is easy to dismiss all the rumors as superstition, the fact that the name of the village has been mentioned in several ancient Hindu texts like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata means that there might be some truth to the fantastic stories after all.

With just a handful of voodoo and black magic practitioners left in the village, Mayong's frightening history may be dying, but the locals believe that black magic and sorcery are still very much alive in the dark forests surrounding the village.

Mayong's locals still believe that black magic and sorcery are alive and well in the village's surrounding forests.

Mayong's locals still believe that black magic and sorcery are alive and well in the village's surrounding forests.

The History of Mayong Village

Mayong is situated 40 km from Guwahati, in the Morigaon district of Assam. The origin of the name of the village comes from several sources. According to one belief, the name Mayong comes from ‘Ma-anga’—'ma' meaning mother and ‘anga’ meaning body-part, specifically the female organ ‘yoni’ or womb of the Hindu goddess Kamakhya.

Some people say that it is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Maya', which means ‘illusion’, while others believe that it is taken from the word 'miyong', meaning elephant in the Dimasa language.

In the historical context, based on the genealogy document existing with the present royal family of Mayong, the kingdom of Mayong was established by a Kachari king who had come from Maibong, the erstwhile capital of the Dimasa Kachari kingdom. The kingdom was established in the year 1624, and Sunyat Singha was named the first king of Mayong.

Mayong is named in several ancient Hindu texts, namely the Mahabharata, in which Bheema’s son Ghatotkacha took part in the battle of Mahabharata after attaining different magical powers from Mayong. It is even believed that renowned magician PC Sorkar had also visited Mayong to get some magic tips.

Mayong Village has a fearsome reputation of voodoo, black magic, and sorcery performed since time immemorial.

Mayong Village has a fearsome reputation of voodoo, black magic, and sorcery performed since time immemorial.

Mayong Village Has a Fearsome Reputation

The mighty Mughals also feared the witchcraft and the sorcery of this village. The first recorded evidence of the fear comes from the court historian Mirza Muhammad Kazim, who wrote the Alamgir Nama, a chronicle of the first 10 years of Emperor Aurangzeb's reign.

According to him, Aurangzeb ordered the Mughal General Raja Ram Singh to go to Assam and subdue the Ahom kingdom. Ram Singh was brave, with many victories under his belt, but somehow he was afraid of this mission.

He did not fear the Ahom army; rather he feared the voodoo and witchcraft tales that had emerged from Mayong. And despite having a superior army, Ram Singh was routed mercilessly and barely escaped with his life. As Mirza Muhammad Kazim writes:

Mughals were routed in the Battle of Saraighat in 1671 and Ram Singh beat a hasty retreat, never to return. He was lucky; a few others before him like Muhammed Shah did not even come back alive.

Interestingly, people today do not know how this witchcraft and sorcery came to this little place, how black magic became so popular, or who was the first person to practice it. But the art and craft of black magic have been passed down over generations.

The doctors practicing this craft are called bez or ojaa and they use their craft to summon up ‘ghosts’ and treat people for their illnesses, disputes, or even killing somebody by voodoo dolls.

Recent excavations have revealed that ‘narbali’, or the practice of human sacrifice, was also prevalent for a long time in this village. Humans were sacrificed to attain various powers of black magic. Archaeologists recently dug up swords and other sharp weapons that resembled tools used for human sacrifice centuries ago.

As H.N. Dutta, the director of the state archaeology department tells us:

Mayong is an interesting place for historians and archaeologists. There is a need for an in-depth study to explore its many hidden aspects. We will carry out more excavations in the coming days to find more evidence on whether human sacrifice actually took place there.

The Probitora wildlife sanctuary is home to the majestic one-horned rhinoceros, wild boars, and many other wildlife species.

The Probitora wildlife sanctuary is home to the majestic one-horned rhinoceros, wild boars, and many other wildlife species.

Mayong Is Getting Popular

Today, with few practitioners of the craft and the youth turning towards the cities for better opportunities, the magic is dying. The older generation of people are still practicing the craft, but with a dwindling population, the legendary magical art of Mayong may soon pass into history.

But things are looking better now. Mayong is being advertised by the state as a tourist spot, and the number of travelers visiting this spooky village has increased substantially in the last few years.

There is also a museum in Mayong which exhibits magical remnants, weapons, old coins, scripts, jewelry made from bones and skulls, and tools used for human sacrifice, among other artifacts. Conversations with the local populace also reveal interesting stories and a lot of things to ponder, keeping you busy thinking all night.

So, if getting spooked is your cup of tea, a visit to this village might be right up your alley.

Mayong is also home to important archaeological findings excavated in and around the village. You can explore these ancient artifacts at the Mayong Central Museum.

Mayong is also home to important archaeological findings excavated in and around the village. You can explore these ancient artifacts at the Mayong Central Museum.

Things to Do in Mayong

Due to its magical and religious significance, Mayong is fast becoming an attraction for adventurous travelers wanting to go off the beaten path. There are a lot of things one can do in Mayong. Here are just a few.

  • Interact with the locals and learn about some amazing magic tricks and hear some spooky stories about witchcraft and black magic from the local practitioners residing in the village.
  • Visit the nearby Probitora wildlife sanctuary, which is also home to the majestic one-horned rhinoceros, wild boars, and many other wildlife species.
  • Visit several ancient temples in and around Mayong. Prominent ones are the Hatimuria Ganesh Temple, Kachashila Shiv Shrine, Narashinha Ashram, and Mayong’s Kechaikhaiti Shrine.
  • Mayong is also home to important archaeological findings excavated in and around the village. You can explore these ancient artifacts at the Mayong Central Museum.
  • Mayong is situated on the banks of the majestic river Brahmaputra. You can also plan for river cruises operated by the government and private operators. The scenic beauty encountered along the way is breathtaking.

Travel Details

The best time to visit Mayong is in winter from October to February, when the weather is pleasant. This is also the time when you can see the animals coming out from the nearby Probitora wildlife sanctuary. You can get more information from the Assam government website.

How to Reach Mayong

  • By Air: The nearest airport is Guwahati international airport, which is about 61km from the village. Taxis and private vehicles are available to make the onward journey from Guwahati to Mayong.
  • By Train: You can take a train from Delhi to Guwahati, which takes about 28 hours. Once you reach Guwahati, you can take a train to Jagi road railway station, which is approximately 25 km from Mayong.
  • By Road: The road distance between Guwahati and Mayong is about 38km, and taxis and private vehicles are available for the onward journey.

Sources

© 2021 Ravi Rajan

Comments

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on May 24, 2021:

Thanks Centfie for your comments

Centfie from Kenya on May 24, 2021:

This is an interesting article, amazing and informative stories too. At first I did not want to read because of a negative attitude toward "black magic." You write so well of places I have never heard of and would probably never step into during my life time, but now have through your amazing work.

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on May 22, 2021:

Thanks, Gyanendra for sharing your experiences.

gyanendra mocktan from Kathmandu,Nepal on May 22, 2021:

This is really fashinaring article for me. As I my eyes rolled through word by word, my body didn't shudder this time whiling lying on my bed during the lockdown for the 5th week.

As a teenage, I have heard a lot about Mayang and black magic.

Interestingly, I have stayed for a month with my junior football team while participating in Assam Junoir Football Tournament 1978.

Our school team representing Darang district had to play the quarter final match with the Morigaon district. The match had to be posponed for a week. Bacause our players were poisoned except the coach and the captain. Because they had hadn't drunk the tea that was brought to our camp that afternoon. Upon checking the kettle the doctors found out dhatura seeds were smashed and put into the kettle containing tea on the way by the carrier! Later on, we were given fresh lemon juice to drink for hours and lie down on the bed.

That was my personal experience.

Apart from that I've also heard that young and handsome boys were scared to visit Mayang. Because if the girls there liked such handsome boys they would entice them and keep them. Their figures would be changed into he goat or dogs!! They had such magical power!!

I have shared here my childhood stories when I was in Tezpur in the 70s.

Thank you Ravu.

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on May 22, 2021:

Thanks Linda for your comments

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 22, 2021:

The fact that the area has a wildlife sanctuary as well as an intriguing history makes it very appealing. I doubt whether I’ll be able to visit the area, but it was interesting to read about it.

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on May 22, 2021:

Mayong village in the Assam state is called the black magic and voodoo capital of India. While the village might not have many practitioners of black magic left, it still retains its fearsome reputation and comes across as an exciting offbeat destination for the adventurous traveler to visit.

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on May 22, 2021:

Thanks, John. If you like an adventure with a bit of wildlife, natural beauty, and the bizarre thrown in, Mayong is the place for you.

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on May 22, 2021:

Thanks, Peggy for your comments

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on May 22, 2021:

Thanks Flourish for your comments. You have asked an interesting question.

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on May 22, 2021:

Thanks Tobe for your comments

Ravi Rajan (author) from Mumbai on May 22, 2021:

Thanks, Misbah for your comments

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on May 22, 2021:

What n interesting article, Ravi. I have never heard of Mayong. It is certainly the type of place i would rather visit than the usual run of the mill tourist sites.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 22, 2021:

Yours is the first article I have ever read about this black magic capital of India. Since I will undoubtedly never travel there, it was fun learning about the wild animals and nearby historic attractions.

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 22, 2021:

Very interesting story. I hope they use their magic for good. I noticed that the guy in the photo had a rhino(?) horn near his mouth. I hope that fell off naturally, especially being near the nature preserve. Makes you think, ya know, especially with the black magic?

Peace Tobe Dike from Delta State, Nigeria. on May 22, 2021:

Informative...I enjoyed reading this and it's the first time I've heard of these places. Thank you for sharing

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on May 22, 2021:

This was an interesting read, Ravi. I always like to read about such things. I have heard about Assam state but didn't know about this Mayong village. Thanks for sharing knowledge

Blessings always

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